By Isidore Abah & Nester Asonganyi
The President of the Social Liberal Congress, Professor George Nyamndi, has asserted that, even though Cameroon is plagued by grave internal problems and a looming tragedy, foreign aggression posed by the religious fanatic sect, Boko Haram, needs an even more urgent attention to save the country from disintegration.
Professor Nyamndi lamented that until recently, Cameroon was referred to as an island of peace, “but that peace is not only threatened and subverted today. The country has become an epicentre of death, where Cameroonians and foreigners alike are attacked, kidnaped and killed on a daily bases, while property are looted and destroyed,” he said.
The recurrent wave of plunder and destruction that has engulfed the three northern Regions of Cameroon, according to the SLC President, is not only stagnating the economy, but is also a serious threat to peace, security and development.
It is within this perspective that, Prof. Nyamndi said, his party was joining the anti-Boko Haram bandwagon to say ‘no!’ to the activities of these religious miscreants.
He was speaking in Buea on March 5, 2015, during a press conference.
Prof. Nyamndi expressed indignation that such mayhem is perpetrated in the name of God.
“We, in the SLC, know religion to be a uniting force whose primary goal is to foster love and understanding among God’s creatures. Any ideology or movement that undermines this fundamental assignment cannot claim to be serving humanity and so, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
SLC condemns, energetically, all the enemies of peace and progress, especially Boko Haram, currently undermining and jeopardising our country’s peace and development struggle,” Nyamndi said.
On why he was granting a press conference in Buea when other political leaders have undertaken trips to the northern regions to sympathise with and lend support to the victims of the terrorist activities, Nyamndi said, even though he has not been to the affected Regions, he has been in constant touch with the militants of his party in the north, especially in Yagoua.
He promised that the SLC will give out its support to the fight against Boko Haram in stages and will go right to the field as far as the military and security forces would permit.
Going by him, anything that affects one Cameroonian anywhere affects all Cameroonians everywhere, and as such, all Cameroonians should join in grieving the loss of lives and properties in the besieged northern Regions.
He commended the Cameroonian armed forces for their courage, determination and patriotism, while saluting President Paul Biya for the brilliant performance of his field commanders.
Nyamndi said the essence of the press conference in Buea was to make known the importance and urgency for stakeholders to declare their positions on the issue. “The SLC has decided to express its dissatisfaction and anger in the present circumstances. You know the more you condemn, the more you expose the evil that you condemn,” he asserted.
On what moral authority was he addressing the Boko Haram issue, given that, on July 19, 2013, the SLC joined the Presidential majority, Nyamndi said; “The SLC joined the Presidential majority, not the CPDM. When the SLC decided to join the Presidential majority, we said being in the opposition was not a profession but rather an expedient; and that whether one was in the opposition or the ruling party; one had to be driven by the same love of country. If a party remains in the opposition from more than 10 years without any change, then, there is something wrong in that system.”
Quizzed whether he joined the Presidential majority to lobby for a Ministerial position just like some members of the group, Nyamndi said; “When the SLC joined the Presidential majority in 2013, it said Cameroon, as it is today, is not ready for an opposition because the laid down rules are absent.”
He asserted that a veritable opposition political party can only emerge the day the Government will decide to convene a constitutional conference in Cameroon that will include everybody who has a dream and vision for the country.
The varsity don regretted that the Boko Haram insurgents are not only using the yawning unemployment and economic hardship to penetrate the Cameroonian territory, but also to conscript Cameroonian youths into their diabolic activities.
“You cannot be patriotic with an empty stomach or in an environment where gross injustice reigns supreme,” the SLC President stated.
Just like the youths who are vulnerable to Boko Haram recruits because of unemployment, the SLC National President said ‘Anglophones are in distress because of the cultural question, injustice, lack of equity and general neglect. He said managing the minority is a very delicate issue.
“If you are not careful, you may kill them and think they are still there,” he averred.
According to Prof. Nyamndi, Anglophones can only achieve their dream if they make use of their ballot papers, even though, as he puts it, “there is no real democracy in Cameroon.”
On the impact of Boko Haram activities on the much trumpeted vision 2035, he said Boko Haram’s activities are a big setback to the realisation of vision 2035.
According to him, no investor will risk his capital in a socially unstable environment.
“You can’t feed a child out of four and think that the other three won’t cry of hunger. When one Region has everything, it does not mean that the others automatically have,” Nyamndi remarked. He advised Government to learn from the Boko Haram attacks and ensure that no area of the country is neglected.